General Information and Regulations Governing All Graduate Students

J) THESES AND REPORTS

1. Submission

2. General Form and Style

3. Evaluation of Masters Theses and Reports

4. Evaluation of Ph.D. Theses

5. Time Limit for Revision

6. Prepublication


1. Submission

a) Candidates must submit the thesis/report at least four months before the University Convocation at which the award of the degree is expected (see Diary in current edition of University Calendar for exact date). The School of Graduate Studies does not accept any responsibility for completing the prescribed procedure in time for the nearest Convocation unless theses or reports are submitted by the prescribed dates in any current academic year.

b) A thesis/report may not be submitted until the candidate has fulfilled:

i. All course requirements, if any
ii. All language requirements, if any
iii. The comprehensive examination, if required, and
iv. All other academic requirements of the academic unit concerned.

2. General Form and Style

Candidates should refer to the School of Graduate Studies for a copy of the guidelines for preparation of theses and reports.

It is the responsibility of the student and the supervisor to be familiar with all regulations of the School of Graduate Studies with respect to theses and reports, and to any specific requirement of the student's department. At the time of final submission to the School of Graduate Studies, one copy of the thesis/report must be submitted on 50% rag content bond paper.

3. Evaluation of Masters Theses and Reports

A.i. Final examiners for the thesis/report will be appointed by the Dean on the recommendation of the academic unit. There will be two examiners for a Master's thesis. Examiners shall normally be those who have completed a graduate degree at the doctoral level, including a thesis/report, in the discipline or cognate area. Those serving as examiners shall not have been involved in the preparation of the thesis/report.

ii. Examination of the thesis/report will result in one of the following recommendations by each examiner. The thesis/report is:

a) acceptable without modifications; or

b) acceptable, modifications are required but the thesis does not have to be re-examined 1; or

c) unacceptable. The thesis/report requires modification and re-examination 2; or

d) totally unacceptable - the thesis/report is failed.3

1 Modifications may include corrections of typographical errors and errors in nomenclature, improvement in phrasing, or rewriting of sections of the thesis/report. Modifications may be indicated in the text or listed separately;

2 Modifications might include (but are not limited to) the rectification of one or more of the following deficiencies: (1) misinterpretation and/or misuse of the matter covered, omission of relevant materials, unfounded conclusions, illogicality of argument, improper analysis of data and the like; (2) bad writing, (3) unacceptable physical presentation. A detailed list of problems should be included with the report;

3 A detailed list of the reason(s) for failure must be included in the report.

B. If all examiners recommend that the thesis/report is totally unacceptable, then the thesis will be failed, and shall not be re-examined.

C. If an examiner recommends that the thesis/report is unacceptable, and this recommendation is accepted by the Dean, then the student may apply to the Dean for permission to resubmit the thesis for re-examination in one of the following ways:

i. to submit a modified thesis/report to the original examiners.
ii. to submit a modified thesis/report to new examiners.
iii. to submit the original thesis/report to an Examination Board to be appointed by the Dean.

D. If a thesis/report is re-examined, the candidate will not be awarded a pass unless all examiners find the thesis acceptable.

E. Under no circumstances may a thesis/report be re-examined more than once.

4. Evaluation of Ph.D. Theses

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must submit a written dissertation deemed acceptable by the University, and demonstrate their ability to defend their work in a public oral examination. For this reason, the final decision on whether a candidate will be recommended for the award of the degree is made only at the conclusion of the oral examination. (See General Regulation J.4.c)

a) Responsibilities of the Thesis Examining Board

The work of each candidate will be assessed by a Thesis Examining Board. Its first responsibility is to determine whether the thesis successfully demonstrates the candidate's competence to undertake independent research work. The Board must be satisfied that the work contributes significantly to knowledge in the field of study; that the contribution is of high scholarly merit; that the candidate is aware of the pertinent published literature; that it is written in a satisfactory style; and that it is free from typographical and other mechanical errors. The second responsibility of the Board is to conduct a final oral examination of the candidate and to then recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies whether the candidate should be awarded the degree.

b) Composition of the Thesis Examining Board

The members of the Thesis Examining Board will be appointed by the Dean on the recommendation of the Head of the academic unit who will have consulted with the supervisory committee. The Board shall consist of four members. Normally these will be the candidate's supervisor (who serves on the Board in a non-voting capacity), two examiners from within the University, and one from outside the University. However, when circumstances warrant, a second external examiner may be substituted for one of the internal examiners with permission of the Dean. Members of the supervisory committee other than the supervisor are ineligible for appointment to the Board.

c) The Examination Process

1. The voting members of the Board shall submit written reports on the thesis containing an assessment of the quality of the written work and a recommendation as to whether the candidate should be permitted to proceed to an oral examination and defence of the work. An examiner may recommend:

i) that the candidate be allowed to proceed to the oral defence of the thesis1, or;
ii) that the candidate not be allowed to proceed to the oral defence at this time2, or:
iii) that the candidate should be failed.

1 Any suggested corrections or revisions should be outlined in the examiner's report. It is understood that it will be the responsibility of the Supervisory Committee to discuss the suggested changes with the candidate, to determine which should be incorporated in the thesis before its final submission.

2 This recommendation reflects the examiner's opinion that further research, re-analysis of data, or thorough rewriting of the material is required. The thesis may, however, be re-submitted for examination.

2. No candidate will be permitted to re-submit a thesis more than once. If the Dean decides that the thesis must be revised before it can be orally defended (as specified in c.1.(ii)) the resubmitted thesis will be examined by a Board which may differ in whole or in part from the original. In the case of a re-submitted thesis an examiner may recommend only:

i) that the candidate be allowed to proceed to the oral defence of the thesis, or:
ii) that the candidate should be failed.

3. After receiving the reports from all three voting members of the Board the Dean will consider the recommendations and determine whether an oral defence of the thesis will be scheduled.

4. The Final Oral Examination and Defence of Thesis will take place at a time and place to be determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies and will be chaired by the Dean or his/her delegate. The presence of all members of the Examining Board is normally required.

5. Following the defence, the Board will meet in camera to render a final assessment of the thesis and the candidate's ability to defend his/her work. The Board may recommend one of the following outcomes:

i. Passed with distinction (Awarded to candidates who demonstrate superior knowledge of their chosen field; this category requires unanimous support of the Board1.)
ii. Passed 1
iii. Passed Subject to Conditions 2
iv. Re-examination required 3
v. Failed 4

1 This recommendation may have attached to it the requirement that the candidate complete certain specified revisions to the satisfaction of the Supervisory Committee, the Head of the academic unit and the Dean. These revisions must have been specified in the written appraisal submitted prior to the Oral Examination.

2 This recommendation is made if there are revisions beyond those specified in the written appraisal submitted prior to the Oral Examination. This recommendation must have the conditions attached and cannot include the option of re-examination.

3 The members of the Thesis Examination Board may attach to this recommendation a list of any requirements which they feel are appropriate.

4 Re-examination not permitted.

6. If the members of the Board are unanimous in their recommendation, the Chair of the Examination may accept this recommendation and inform the candidate of the decision. In any other case, however, the delivering of any final decision shall be deferred pending further consultation within the School of Graduate Studies.

7. No candidate shall be permitted more than two Oral Examinations.

5. Time Limit for Revision

The final version of Master's and Ph.D. theses/reports found acceptable with or without corrections shall be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies within 6 months of the date on which the thesis/report and the student's examiners' reports are returned to the student's academic unit. If a corrected thesis/report is not submitted within 6 months the student is considered to have withdrawn from the program. After this time, the student must apply to be readmitted.

Master's and Ph.D. theses/reports requiring re-examination shall be resubmitted to the School of Graduate Studies within 12 months of the date on which the thesis/report and the examiner's reports are returned to the student. Students requiring resubmission and re-examination of theses/reports must maintain their registration during this period. Failure to resubmit the revised thesis/report within 12 months will result in termination of the student's program.

NOTE: Please refer to C.1. for regulations governing program registration.

6. Prepublication

Publication of material before submission of the thesis/report for examination is permitted. The School of Graduate Studies and Supervisor should be informed of such publication.


Last modified on June 4, 2003 by R. Bruce

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